The war on Christmas is basically the same fight as the battle to end Halloween. Both sides are fill of extremists who are ruining childhood traditions and unable to allow anyone to enjoy themselves. Both claim that they’re not waging war on anything and believe they are just, yet both are just as vile as each the other.
When I was a kid, in school, we had both Halloween and Christmas parties. (Crazy, I know) Halloween was a fun celebration of whimsy and pretend. We dressed up, paraded around and got some treats. Christmas wasn’t just for Christians; we made dreidels, put our shoes in the hallway to be filled with candy, and learned about various December traditions from around the world.
These were enriching experiences that helped us learn while also celebrating life and the magic of the human connection. Then, sometime in the 90s (when I was in about 4th or 5th grade) a minority of Christian extremists lobbied to have Halloween removed because it was “evil” or “satanic.” Some cited the now debunked “danger” that Halloween posed because random strangers were supposedly injecting candy with free drugs… or even somehow inserting razor blades into them…
None of that was true but it ended Halloween parties. Suddenly we could only have “Fall Festivals.” Costumes could not be too scary, witches were not allowed, and the birth of cancel culture was born in the public education system.
Around the same time, the war on Christmas began. The atheists who were upset about losing their right to dress up and be silly as children complained that “if we can’t have Halloween, then why is Christmas in schools? It’s a RELIGIOUS holiday. And separation of church and state prevents public schools from being able to impose such non-secular celebrations on others.”
So then schools had to remove Christmas. No more Santa, angels, or even dreidels. No more learning about December traditions from around the world. “Winter Parties” took over, leaving children partying for the sake of snow, or the countdown to “winter break” ─ when they could actually celebrate, Christmas carols and all.
Witnessing these changes has also allowed me to recognize the similarities between the offended minorities. Most people like celebrating Halloween and yes, even Christmas. This is coming from a Pagan woman. Jesus and my family are cool, but we subscribe to a more ancient doctrine. This doesn’t make us better or worse than anyone. It also doesn’t give us the right to ruin everyone else’s fun.
My kids don’t think Santa Clause is real, but they have been taught who the real Saint Nicholas was and how his example embodies the spirit of giving. They have also been taught to play along with children who do think he is real because it’s a nice game, and not cool to ruin other people’s fun. They know who Jesus is, just as they know what Hanukkah and Kwanza are.
But my children are not subjected to the crumbling public school system. They are taught at home and in our local co-op. They are receiving a more community-based education instead of being sent to government schools ─ which are currently focused on checking boxes and reducing children to numbers and data.
I feel for all the kids who cannot just celebrate and have fun in today’s overly sensitive society. I was a child when these changes were made and I saw how quickly our celebrations degraded into an attack on anything that could possibly offend anyone.
It sparked the cancel culture crusades that have deemed everything racist, everything sexist, and everything as “bad” or “wrong.” It’s an easy divide-and-conquer tactic that leads people to hate their culture and themselves. Once you teach a generation to hate pretty much everything about their people you can easily conquer them; hell they conquer themselves.
The culture war started when schools began appeasing extremists on all sides. Our neighborhoods were fractured and ruled by the insecurities of a few small groups. Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July have faced more scrutiny in recent years because of movements against colonialism, “the patriarchy,” and whatever other 2 minutes of hate have been highlighted by the mainstream this week.
Everyone has a choice. We can celebrate our individuality while also enjoying the season together, or we can divide ourselves up, breed contempt, and argue over petty differences. This battle is ongoing and has only gotten worse in recent years. I wish I could bring both extremes into the same room and show them just how similar their hatred is.
It’s not healthy, and all it does is harm the children who are just learning about humanity and all of its potential. Those who hate religion are just as bad as those who abuse their faith for the sake of self-righteousness.
Halloween season is here. Most freedom-loving Americans are enjoying trips to the pumpkin patch and parties. Soon we should all give thanks, and then Christmas will grace the nation with hopes for love and joy, peace and prosperity.
No matter what faith we do or don’t have, these special moments were made to uplift. Anyone who doesn’t understand that should look inside themselves instead of seeking to blame others. The spirit of giving lives inside us all and can manifest through any season, but this time of year it is especially potent.
I wish everyone a Happy Halloween, Fulfilling Thanksgiving, and a Merry Christmas too.